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bluedog225
09-01-2009, 11:08 PM
I've done a fair amount of research but would appreciate your opinions.

I've got a 1995 Ford E250 Sportsmobile (camper van) with 100k. It's in great shape and I plan to keep it for another 10 years or so. The big advantage is that I can haul the boat out, sail, and camp in comfort in the van.


As far as I can tell, it has a semi float axle with a Dana open differential. The van (empty) weighs in at about 7500 lbs which is also its GVWR. :confused:

The E350 vans of this era (of which there are many) had a Dana 60 full float axle with a capacity of roughly 7500 lbs (don't quote me on this-but a significantly higher rating than the current).

I'd like a better safety margin. I've put in roll bars, upgraded the brake pads and fluid, purchased E rated tires, have heavy duty shocks, etc. I am also planning on losing some weight (and reducing the van's weight) and replacing the rear axle with the Dana 60.

Since I am replacing the axle anyway, I would like recommendations on a locking differential. I was thinking a classic detroit locker but have been surprised to find our how many different options there are. I'll be doing about 95% highway. Just need the locker or limited slip for sand and boat ramps, no offroad. My boat's a lightweight at about 1000 lbs.

Any advice is good advice. Thanks in advance.

Tom

Ian Marchuk
09-01-2009, 11:36 PM
I have a full floating Dana 60 in my welding service truck . It weighs in at 9200 lbs.+/-. The undercarriage has been mildly beefed up as have wheels and tires. This axle has been trouble free for a very long and hard 250K miles.I run synthetic oil all around. A good choice for your outfit given the weight involved.
Axle ratio will be important, factor in thr transmission . I am assuming automatic.
235/85/R16 tires? I pulled or 26 foot aluminium river boat on a tandem trailer with this truck (massaged 460 Ford on propane) without any issues whatsoever.The loaded trailer weight with our gear and fuel would have been about 6000 lbs. Keep the brakes in good order and there should not be much trouble.
As far as a locking diff goes , I have never had one , our truck is 4wd and I have never had to use 4wd on a ramp. The weight works in our favour , except in soft ground. Given that you are pulling such a light load I do not think that a locker is called for unless you will be launching on soft and remote ramps.. If you can find one in good used condition it would be a plus for sure,but don't turn the world upside down or pay through the nose for one.
I really don't see much benefit here.
I can't remember the axle ratio I have , I'll check and get back to you.
What motor do you have ?
That and 50 cents will buy a cuppa lousy coffee .... FWIW
Ian

Tylerdurden
09-02-2009, 02:20 AM
A Dana 60 is worth the investment only if you really require it.
You will pay a lot more for brakes, bearings etc.
What you have is good and will take some abuse and any locker you buy will not break the bank. Stay away from Auto lockers, they are noisy and have issues with street use.
I am a big fan of ARB air lockers and have had them on Jeeps an pickups. Clean air is a must though.
I have a Dana 60 on my work truck with limited slip, In Maine I have yet to get stuck in normal use 2wd. I had to slide into a snow bank and culvert to need a tow.
If you must have a locker it is probably the best traction option to go with. If one fell into my lap I would install it.

Tylerdurden
09-02-2009, 02:23 AM
I have a full floating Dana 60 in my welding service truck . It weighs in at 9200 lbs.+/-. The undercarriage has been mildly beefed up as have wheels and tires. This axle has been trouble free for a very long and hard 250K miles.I run synthetic oil all around. A good choice for your outfit given the weight involved.
Axle ratio will be important, factor in thr transmission . I am assuming automatic.
235/85/R16 tires? I pulled or 26 foot aluminium river boat on a tandem trailer with this truck (massaged 460 Ford on propane) without any issues whatsoever.The loaded trailer weight with our gear and fuel would have been about 6000 lbs. Keep the brakes in good order and there should not be much trouble.
As far as a locking diff goes , I have never had one , our truck is 4wd and I have never had to use 4wd on a ramp. The weight works in our favour , except in soft ground. Given that you are pulling such a light load I do not think that a locker is called for unless you will be launching on soft and remote ramps.. If you can find one in good used condition it would be a plus for sure,but don't turn the world upside down or pay through the nose for one.
I really don't see much benefit here.
I can't remember the axle ratio I have , I'll check and get back to you.
What motor do you have ?
That and 50 cents will buy a cuppa lousy coffee .... FWIW
Ian

Is the LP conversion Carb or direct injection, I have access to a complete direct injection system (liquid) and the power is amazing.
I am running deisel but keep thinking I should just have it for a build.

Ian Marchuk
09-02-2009, 12:36 PM
Given the weight of the van a Dana 60 would be worth the effort in my mind. The semi floating axle with minimal bearing contact area ( riding as it does directly on a minimally hardened axle surface) is a lousy set up IMO.
The motor propane systems that I am familiar with :
Vialle: mixer sits on top of the holley carb , designed for dual fuel. Touchy but has been trouble free for me. Vaporizer needs draining of oily additives every oil change to avoid residue build up and related problems.
Impco: generally for propane only systems, mixer replaces carb, simple and reliable.
New direct injection systems are out there , I have no direct info ....
Some experimental types in our area are running propane boost in Cat and Cummins engines in highway tractors.
To gain max benefit from propane as a motor fuel the engine has to be set up for it , spark events have to be timed accordingly. Mine is set up with high compression , a bottom end cam , and recurved distributor for starters.
Has run like a swiss watch for years,with only elementary maintenance attention.
Lots of torque ,and very reliable ..... couldn't be happier.

bluedog225
09-02-2009, 09:48 PM
I'm running stock steel 16 tires with 245/75 E rated Michelins. Only slightly larger than stock.

I'm pretty set on the new axle for the increased load rating.

I've recieved a couple of recommendations for this limited slip and will probably go with it:

Dana Power Lok
http://www.drivetrainoutlet.com/Lockers_and_Limited_Slip-D_PLCAHL_30_Dana_Power_Lok.html

Thanks

Tom

Tylerdurden
09-03-2009, 05:27 AM
Given the weight of the van a Dana 60 would be worth the effort in my mind. The semi floating axle with minimal bearing contact area ( riding as it does directly on a minimally hardened axle surface) is a lousy set up IMO.
The motor propane systems that I am familiar with :
Vialle: mixer sits on top of the holley carb , designed for dual fuel. Touchy but has been trouble free for me. Vaporizer needs draining of oily additives every oil change to avoid residue build up and related problems.
Impco: generally for propane only systems, mixer replaces carb, simple and reliable.
New direct injection systems are out there , I have no direct info ....
Some experimental types in our area are running propane boost in Cat and Cummins engines in highway tractors.
To gain max benefit from propane as a motor fuel the engine has to be set up for it , spark events have to be timed accordingly. Mine is set up with high compression , a bottom end cam , and recurved distributor for starters.
Has run like a swiss watch for years,with only elementary maintenance attention.
Lots of torque ,and very reliable ..... couldn't be happier.

Agreed, I like LP on gas engines. Past couple of years I have been doing work on LP trucks being licensed for it. I drove one with the vapor system brand new the one with the liquid injection, same model and everything. The difference in performance is amazing with liquid injection. There is an outfit in Canada that sells all the components for bolt up on GM. Pretty hot setup and its OBD2 so it can scan like any normal vehicle.

24hacker
09-04-2009, 02:50 PM
I spent nearly 40 years working for Dana - My thoughts - Dana makes a Power-Lok differential for the 60 Model - not very cheap - use synthetic lube - If I am not mistaking - you probably already have a Model 60 in your F250 - even if it is a full float - not like what Ian said - in the area where the bearing rides on the axle shaft - the shaft is induction hardened to the same hardness as a bearing cup - no such thing as " riding as it does directly on a minimally hardened axle surface) is a lousy set up IMO. Dana has sold millions of these - they just don't break - trust me - I worked in Engineering and Warranty.

bobbys
09-04-2009, 03:14 PM
I dont care what some have said, I think this is one of the best Bilge threads ever!!!!

Tylerdurden
09-04-2009, 03:20 PM
I dont care what some have said, I think this is one of the best Bilge threads ever!!!!

Beats trivia.;)

Ian Marchuk
09-04-2009, 10:09 PM
Hello Hacker.... I think that i presented my noodlings poorly ...
I was attempting to suggest that the Dana 60 was a vast improvement over a semi floating axle where the bearing runs directly on the hardened axle surface. Given the assumption that the van in question had a semi floating axle and that it was a heavy beast , the full float Dana 60 is very much the way to go methinks.
Rereading my post I can understand how easily it could be misunderstood.

Ian Marchuk
09-04-2009, 10:18 PM
I base my observations on many semi floating axle and bearing changeouts (for customers )and they have been expensive.
Very, very, seldom have I seen full float axle problems. Mostly when Ford redesigned the rear axle seals . They were not a good seal. My customers were refitted with the older style seals. These seal problems were/are no reflection on the Dana 60 , but on Ford ninjaheers .
The semis usually last long enough to exceed the warranty period , in the field that is.

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
09-05-2009, 12:35 AM
My dad had a 3/4 ton with a full floating rear, either a Dana or in-house GM axle, with the Detroit Locker, and it worked great. (He later had a 1 ton with a Dana 7500 with an open rear, regretted it, but GM didn't offer the DL anymore, only the Eaton Powerlock which had a bad rep. But he ran that axle at max 100% of the time and it never failed.) Around turns, the DL only powers the inside tire, and it's either on or off, can take up with a clunk, but these are issues for refined sports cars and not a truck. The Torsen diff is sophisticated but I have heard not as durable as the DL (they work on Hummers because they have geared hubs so the half shafts take half the torque or less, I forget the hub ratio). I have also heard that air lockers are a great way to go but haven't used them myself.

Full floaters used to be standard issue on 3/4 tons, I lament them going to semi-floating rears on what are supposed to be real trucks. A full floater is inherently better designed, but is a pain to work on the rear brakes if you have to pull the drum or rotor. Other than that, they are superior. But I don't think you will be loading up the van enough to need it, but if you have to change out the axle anyway, and it doesn't cost you much, ok. Evaluate your vehicle worth, your loading, and how far you take it from home. If the vehicle is still worth a lot and you plan to keep it a lot longer, you often operate near or over design max GVW and you operate far from home (or the vehicle is mission critical), and if you can get a deal on the parts (probably a lot of used axles about these days), go for it. Be careful to be aware of any other upgrades; Are the front hubs already 8-bolt wheels in a compatible bolt pattern? I don't think you will find a Dana 60 in 5 or 6 bolt. Brakes? Shock mounts? Etc. The used truck market is WAY down; also check the price of a better equipped van or truck, you may even be surprised at the cost of a medium duty box truck or chassis with great axles and a diesel.

bluedog225
09-05-2009, 06:37 AM
Thanks all. Really a great group here. I'm regularly impressed by the expertise.

It's an E250 van converted with a pop top. 1995 with 100k miles. Looks garage kept. I plan to keep for a while (years).

Right now, I am running just below GVWR so I want to upgrade so when I load the boat and a bunch of gear, I am still below capacity.

Strangely, no Dana 60's lying around. My mechanic was unable to locate one. There are, however, occassional mid 1990s E350 vans.

My (limited) understanding is that these had the Dana 60 full float. I believe that if it has the 4 inch hub sticking out of the wheel, and it is on a mid 1990s E350, then it is most like a Dana full floater.

I am going to look at a complete E350 van for $700 this morning (with a bad transmission). This is looking like the best source of parts.

I plan to take the complete axle. I may also take other parts if they are heavier duty (leafs may be 3.25 instead of 3), leaf brackets, front springs, etc. Have the Dana completely rebuilt with a LSD or locker.

My only real source of anxiety is making sure I get a full floater. I will check the GVWR to see if it around 10,000. Other than the hubs, and any markings on the axle, is there a way to tell?

Thanks again.

Tom

Ian Marchuk
09-05-2009, 09:43 AM
Ok , I will try to explain how to recognise a full floater. This may not work very well as the coffee hasn't kicked yet.
The axle/drum face that the wheel is bolted to on a semi floater will be for all intents and purposes flat.
On a full floater, the axle/hub assembly protrudes through the wheel centre by 3.5 inches. The outside of the axle/hub assembly will be 3.5" or so from the wheel to drum face. The outer axle flange is bolted to the hub with a circle of bolts plainly visable when the hubcap is removed.
When in doubt post a picture...
W/O strong morning coffee the synapses fire sporadically if at all ....

Canoeyawl
09-05-2009, 10:00 AM
What Ian said, I've had a cup of coffee so I'll add a bit!
With a "full floating" axle you can remove the axle from the truck without jacking it up. The ring of bolts retaining the axle to the hub is clearly visible from across the street if the hubcap is off. In fact there is not usually room for a hubcab with this type of axle, and that might be your best clue...

Ian Marchuk
09-05-2009, 10:44 AM
Lots of floaters (full and otherwise) to be found in the bilge of late... Donn may be "on" to something with his full moon observation

bluedog225
09-05-2009, 08:08 PM
Hacker-40 years with Dana? Nice to have an expert.

I looked at my first used axle today on a 1993 E350 van. It is a full floater. It says "60 ISU" so I'm pretty sure that's a Dana 60. Manufacture date 9 25 91 (makes sense for a 1993 van. "Rev L" Axle code 33 (so it's a non slip 3.54 gear ratio.

It's all making sense. Only two issues. First, it was in a wreck bad enough (side rear) to require work on the axles (mostly brakes but the seller isn't sure).

Second, it looks like there is a wire harness going into the top of the pumpkin. What the heck is that? The van is well used and the owner knows nothing about a locker.

Any ideas?

Thanks again,

Tom :b5:

Captain Blight
09-05-2009, 08:24 PM
You can find military surplus Dana 60s and 70s from Adelman's, in Ohio. They're online but last time I checked their website was full of suck. My minimal experience with them, however, showed this was anything the case with their customer service. I'd look 'em up and give 'em a call.

Military Vehicle Preservation Ass'n is another relatively unknown resource.

http://www.samwinermotors.com/
http://www.adelmans.com/amilitary

Wire harness might be to speedo, though of course I couldn't say for sure.

bluedog225
09-05-2009, 09:10 PM
Thanks. I've put an email in to them.

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
09-06-2009, 02:55 AM
Wire could be for anti-lock brakes. Early cheap versions used single channel for rears, not to each wheel.

A full-floating axle has the wheel bearings on the outside of the axle tube (casing) that's why the bearings are so big, why you can pull the axle shaft out with the wheels on the ground, and why the brake drum or rotor is a pain to remove. The benefits are: Bigger bearings, the axle casing is an order of magnitude (read WAY) stiffer than the axle shaft, and that the axle shaft is only stressed in torsion (drive torque) and not in bending (payload). Also, the axle shaft is completely free to move axially (sideways), i.e., "float", as it heats up and expands, hence the name, full-floating axle.

Left is semi-floating, right is full-floating:
http://www.tpub.com/content/construction/14050/img/14050_275_3.jpg

Full-floating:
http://www.venturesparts.com/14_Bolt_Full-Floating_Axle.JPG
http://www.askjeffwilliams.com/uploads/Image/GM%20install%20axle.JPG

Semi-floating:
http://www.venturesparts.com/Semi_Floating_Axle.JPG

Dang I love this interwebby thing, information at the speed of light!

bluedog225
09-06-2009, 09:22 AM
Dang I love this interwebby thing, information at the speed of light!

Thanks Bob. That info is really helpful. My problem researching all this is that I need some basic knowledge before I can make sense of what I am seeing/reading. I'm getting there.

For 99% on road use (1% sand and mud), no rock crawling (really just want the increased weight bearing capacity and limited slip), do I care how many splines I have or how tall they are?

Thanks

Tom

Canoeyawl
09-06-2009, 11:17 AM
"Floating" axles do no work other than torsional (no vehicle weight or tension on the axle, the hub is retained by other methods) hence the axle is "floating" in the assembly.
"Semi-floating" axles utilise the axle to hold the hub assembly onto the housing in tension, but have no vehicle weight on the axle itself as the hub bears the weight. Ford used these from the model T to 1948. A darned good design, but expensive to repair as the axle is retained inside the differential.

What is today commonly refered to as "semi-floating" is neither. The axle is doing all the work, torsional and weight bearing. Many of these are retained by a press fit only and can fail if the weight load exceeds the capacity - i.e. the axle and hub, and the wheel and tire can migrate out of the housing.

http://www.venturesparts.com/Semi_Floating_Axle.JPG

boylesboats
09-06-2009, 01:38 PM
Full-floating:
http://www.venturesparts.com/14_Bolt_Full-Floating_Axle.JPG
http://www.askjeffwilliams.com/uploads/Image/GM%20install%20axle.JPG

look like my GM 14 bolts axle on my truck.. 10.5" ring gear / 4.56 ratio..
I trust those full floating set-up.. easy to maintain.. just few more parts to remove for a brake job...

bluedog225
09-06-2009, 02:49 PM
Can't it be simple? :mad: Here is a response I got on another forum that doesn't think so highly of the Dana 60. This is the first opinion I have gotten that thought it was not a great idea to switch:

Splines refer to how thick your axel shafts are. 30 spline would be the number of small teeth on the end of your axel that slides into the center section of the differential. Your current axle shafts are actually thicker and has 35 splines. The difference is that the weight of the rig along with the twisting force of the engine is applied to it. On a full float all the axel shaft is asked to do is spin the full floating hub. The hub caries the weight of the vehicle. My rig has a 35 spline semi float and I would not swap in that old 30 spline full float if you gave it to me. The shafts are thin and they do break. The ones I have seen break break inside of the carrier or locker. The fix is to pull both shafts and pull the ring gear carrier assembly. Then you drive the broken junk out with a pipe and hope a tiny piece is not left that will chew up your ring ,pinion and locker. At least the wheel won't fall off because it's bolted to the independent hub. You won't break that 35 spine axle any easier but if you do then the axle shaft winds up walking out with the tire attached. For what you do it will never happen.
Now lets say you want to build up that full float 60. The going rate for them is 200. You know that one will fit but relocating spring perches on any axel is easy. You grind off the old perch and lay the new ones on then bolt it up. You twist the axel to get the pinion/driveshaft angle right and weld the perch. Simple on any axle and the axle in question is nice because thats allready done but should not be a deciding factor.
You can get 35 spline shafts for it but then you will need a 35 spline locker and most likely will have to bore the hub spindles for the larger shafts. A very few were made with a larger spindle and that step can be skiped but if you don't take care of that issue then the lube won't get past the axel and lube your hubs and it will rub. Now you will have an expensive old axel because you got caught up in the hype that a dana 60 full float is the beef. They are not all the same so a much better option would be to buy a late model axle that has 35 splines all ready in it. Sterling ,GM corp 14 or dana 70 with disk breaks the corect 3.73 gears and posi all ready in it are common in junkyards for way less than you will spend on building that weak old 30 spline pos with crappy drum breaks. Best option is to change your diff fluid on the one you have to synthetic and call it good. While it's jacked up then grab a tire and see if any play is in the axle bearing. If the tire wiggles then have new bearings pressed on at Nappa. Those bearings carry the weight of the vehicle like the hubs on a full float do. Difference is you have a thicker axle and only one big bearing vs a thin axle with two outer bearings. Don't get caught up in the hype because they are both good.

24hacker
09-06-2009, 03:06 PM
Hacker-40 years with Dana? Nice to have an expert.

I looked at my first used axle today on a 1993 E350 van. It is a full floater. It says "60 ISU" so I'm pretty sure that's a Dana 60. Manufacture date 9 25 91 (makes sense for a 1993 van. "Rev L" Axle code 33 (so it's a non slip 3.54 gear ratio.

It's all making sense. Only two issues. First, it was in a wreck bad enough (side rear) to require work on the axles (mostly brakes but the seller isn't sure).

Second, it looks like there is a wire harness going into the top of the pumpkin. What the heck is that? The van is well used and the owner knows nothing about a locker.

Any ideas?

Thanks again,

Tom :b5:
If there is a wire harness on top of the axle, the ring gear had - has a 'tone ring' attached which was used for the anti skid brakes. The 'tone ring' was pressed onto the o.d. of the differential case and a pickup sent a signal to the computer so when there was locking the computer would send a signal to modulate the brakes rather than lock them.

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
09-06-2009, 03:38 PM
Blue,

For some folks, the semi-floating (or as pointed out above, non-floating) axle might be more durable. The non-floating axle will need axle shafts strong enough for both drive torque (torsion) and payload (bending), so they are plenty strong. If you are not carrying heavy loads, then, most of that strength can be applied for just the drive torque and it may be stronger for that if the shafts are bigger than in the full-floating axle. So for a racer/high-power application with low payloads, the non-floating axle might be better. Also, a full-floater is heavier, and that increases unsprung weight, so the axle bounces more. If you are carrying heavy loads, no, the full-floating rear is stronger, because bending strength is proportional to the third power of the distance from the neutral axis, or in simpler turns, a little increase in diameter is a LOT stronger. Even though the axle housing is hollow, it is so much larger in diameter than the axle shaft, it is much stronger in bending, provided it is not too thin of a wall thickness. It's the steel on the outside that does the work. (It is also much stiffer in torsion, (a fourth power relationship to diameter), and late 60s GM trucks with coil spring rears had simple trailing arms rigidly attached to the axle, so that the axle housing also acted as an integral stabilizer bar.) Some trucks carry heavy loads, but don't really have that much power, though good torque and a lot of transmission. However, even with a full floating rear, the bigger the tire diameter, the stronger the axle shafts have to be to transmit the same thrust at the pavement, because the torque goes up proportionately (bigger lever arm). Big trucks with 22.5(?)" wheels have big axle shafts in full floating rear axles, even when the engine only has 175 horsepower. Let me know if I'm not making sense, I can try to dissect it more.

This is one of my good days.

I also do not disagree with what the fellow says about staying with your current setup. It was designed for the max loads of your vehicle, and if you don't abuse it and change the fluids, perhaps even go so far as to inspect the parts, perhaps put new bearings in it, it should also be fine. But if you are going to definitely swap the axle, I would go for the full floating rear, given your application of heavy payloads and not severe drive torque applications.

bluedog225
09-06-2009, 04:54 PM
That all makes sense. Thanks. At 100,000, my thinking was that I would probably have to do some work on the rear end and the tranny before too long. I was thinking of the axle swap as preventative maintenance. I'd rather get it all set up in advance and do it on my schedule than waiting for a breakdown.

I'll look into to the cost of the suggested maintenance verses the rebuilt full float.

All the more irritating is that there is a Quigley 4x4 van for sale locally for only $10k. But no pop top...

http://austin.craigslist.org/ctd/1335842429.html

Thanks again

Tom

bluedog225
09-19-2009, 06:51 AM
I'm getting back around to this project. First let me say thanks for all the good info.

What is the drill for removing a rear axle. I've found a donor van with full
float but it is about an hour away and siting in a dirt yard. I've looked in
various forums but don't see what I need.

Does it go like this:

-jack up van
-block up on rear frame (using old steel rims?)
-unbolt
-roll out

That simple? I'd like to have the tools I need with me to avoid making two
trips.

Thanks

Tom

Tylerdurden
09-19-2009, 07:41 AM
Big trick to pulling them (I have done three this year) is the u bolts.
The trick item is torches as you can cut the u bolts and out it comes.
If not you need to raise the vehicle quite a ways and have a breaker bar with an extension, preferably 3/4 drive to break the U bolt nuts. then the rest can be had with an electric impact and a deep impact socket. Wire brush and penetrant the heck out of the threads or you will be one sad boy. leave the tires on and after breaking the shock mounts and cutting the brake lines (ahead of the hose on the frame, take the hose with you if its serviceable) just raise the vehicle off the perches (may need a long bar for this) and roll the assembly out the rear.

I cannot stress enough how much labor is saved using torches, just make damn sure you have a good co2 extinguisher or buckets of water and a hose. To cut the u-bolts try and cut them as close to the pad as possible so there is clearance from the tube. If not you will be grinding and mig welding gouges. Takes some experience with a torch to not do damage. The shocks I usually cut at the shaft and worry about the rest after its out.

Forgot to add the best tool in excess to have with you is a sawzall or 4" grinder with thin cutoff wheels.

bluedog225
09-19-2009, 08:19 AM
Great. Thanks.

Mapp gas sufficient? I'm assuming from your post that the ubolts are too hard to cut with the grinder or sawzall?

Do I read it correctly to think that there is no danger of the van falling/dropping once the ubolts are cut?

Tylerdurden
09-19-2009, 08:32 AM
Great. Thanks.

Mapp gas sufficient? I'm assuming from your post that the ubolts are too hard to cut with the grinder or sawzall?

Do I read it correctly to think that there is no danger of the van falling/dropping once the ubolts are cut?


No, Oxy/Acy . Mapp will not do it. Secure the vehicle at the frame just ahead of the rear axle with stands to something safe. do not stack rims or leave them up right, they will move. You can cut u-bolts with a sawzall if you can access them, not so much luck with a 4" grinder.
If you have to unbolt the u-bolts make damn sure the vehicle is secure as it takes some torque to do it.
Do not raise the vehicle any more than you have to until everything is cut, then raise it enough to clear the axle and either roll it out the back or take the tires off and drag it with a chain out one side if you cannot get the height.

Canoeyawl
09-19-2009, 11:40 AM
*note and compare the brake sizes, and wheel cyl diameters. You may be introducing an imbalance between the existing front and the new rear brakes. This is important.

bluedog225
09-19-2009, 08:18 PM
*note and compare the brake sizes, and wheel cyl diameters. You may be introducing an imbalance between the existing front and the new rear brakes. This is important.


My first visit to a junkyard since college. Fun stuff!

Thanks for the advice. I was too late for this one. The rear end of the van was up on blocks and the axle was gone. http://sportsmobileforum.com/images/smilies/a6.gif But they had lots of wrecked ford vans and lots of them had full float axles.

The two axles I looked at closely (they were closing) were both full float but, unlike the previous full float I looked at, they did not have "D60" or "60" or "70" stamped into the casing. They were both 10 bolt. What does that mean? The markings on the casing were no use as far as I can tell "248-001", "304", "AC", "NC4", "47510".

There were both 350's and club wagons with the full floats. As long as it is a full float, original equipment on a Ford van, late 1990s, and has the ABS sensor port in the differential housing, do I care which one I get? All I am after is higher weight capacity, limited slip, and possibly a locker later.

I'll ask around in other forums but does anyone know what brand full float axles were put in ford vans (350s and club wagons) in the late 1990s?

If there is a wrong one to buy, I'm certain I'll get it.

I appreciate all the advice so far. This is like looking for the holy grail....in mud. http://sportsmobileforum.com/images/smilies/a1.gif

Brakes:

I only saw drums but I am getting the impression that if I switch to an axle with discs, I will have to do some fairly extensive brake work. Something to do with proportioning valve and possible replacing the master cylinder?) But I've also seen discussions about changing from drum to disc. I think I'm fine with either one.

When you say compare the brake sizes and wheel cyl diameters, I'm hoping I can do that after purchase and I have it back home and disassembled. I'll keep this in mind as I go. I suspect they will be the same size but will make any needed modifications to make it work and have them checked by a certified brake guy before I get on the road.



Tom
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Tom
Austin, Texas
1995 SMB E250

Tylerdurden
09-20-2009, 02:26 AM
Don't worry to much about the braking issues, just cut out the old preset valve and add in a new adjustable one on the rear lines.
On your van there is room in the engine compartment if you have a good bender and can make reverse double flairs. Once installed and the van is loaded some test runs and adjustments will let you set the rears to lock at or near the same time as the fronts.
I would not get to excited about discs on the rear as the drums perform well for heavy use.

As far as brake lines go and depending on how much you like to work on them you will need a good anvil style flair tool and some double flair anvils. Napa hast the sets in the catalog. Along with that a bender. Then just by your fittings and a roll of the appropriate line, I am using the coated steel now with good results.
Stay away from stainless if you do not have the experience with it.

http://www.inlinetube.com/install%20instructions/Instruct%20tube%20flaring%2045.htm

bluedog225
09-20-2009, 07:57 AM
That's good info in the brakes. Thanks. Any idea about the various full float axles I saw?

Canoeyawl
09-20-2009, 11:27 AM
Here's a quick little list of things to note while you are searching...


* consider carefully the gear ratios, there is a lot of variety out there. You need an actual tooth count, (sometimes this is stamped (small) on the pinion shaft end) ie 11-41, or 10-37, these are both considered 3.7 ratios but are slightly different - don't believe the tag.

*note that your driveshaft / u-joint may need to be modified for length and to fit a different yoke.

*note the right left offset of the pinion shaft. It is often not in the center of the vehicle

*Disk brakes use a different master cyl without a residual pressure check valve.

* the abs situation

* spring pad location on axle may be a different width and type

*Shock mounts and other ancillary mounts may be different

*Wheel offset may be different, you may need different wheels and or have to carry two spares

* limited slip differentials may need new clutches
and require new/different driving habits particurly in wet conditions

* Again it is important to get the brake proportioning correct. You do not want the rear of your truck passing the front when you brake.
This is disconcerting at the least. Deadly at the worst.